A treasure trove of desserts— Mon Petit Dessert Boutique

A treasure trove of desserts— Mon Petit Dessert Boutique

Have you ever thought of a dessert as your most precious treasure? A pastry can be more than just a couple of sweet bites, especially if it is placed in the setting it deserves—that’s why it is such a delight that Mon Petit Dessert Boutique has begun its journey as the newest sparkling crown jewel of Budapest downtown.

Zsófi Sámson’s face may not be familiar to many, but her name and her wonderful cake-creations have been gaining a substantial fan base for years. The “hiding” was partly intentional, partly a natural consequence of life—she believed that her desserts spoke for her. She used to work in tourism and hospitality, but wanted to do something that didn’t feel like work. This is how she stumbled upon confectionery, as a career changer, ten years ago. After completing the compulsory training, her thirst for knowledge only grew: in addition to constantly gathering inspiration from the masters of French pastry, she started working in a pastry shop in Szombathely. Shortly afterward, with a sudden move, she signed a contract at the popular Gerlóczy Café in Budapest, where she was drawn into the restaurant world and the boundless space of free creation.

It was at this time that he met Tamás T. Nagy, an inescapable figure in Hungarian gastronomy. Thanks to his decades of experience as a trader, there is almost no fine dining restaurant he hasn’t collaborated with—be it for ingredients, equipment, or training, his name is almost always the first to come up. With his help, pastry masterclasses have been organized at Gerlóczy Café, where Zsófi collaborated with renowned professionals, while also honing her personal style. She then took over the desserts division at Czakó Kert in Buda, and then returned to fine dining in Zóna Restaurant, working alongside Krisztián Huszár, who is renowned for his coolness. After setting up a confectionery production facility, she moved on to Haris Park event center, however, with all the work she was doing, she felt an increasing need to stand on her own two feet, and finally decided to start Mon Petit Dessert Boutique.

This is when her current style was born: a dessert should be made with the best ingredients, be elegant and clean, and convey a sense of luxury without being alienating. It should be hedonistic, but not vulgar; playful, but not banal. From the beginning, she has been building her brand along these lines, creating dishes that reflect her personality. The femininity, the refined aesthetic, and the richness of detail found many admirers, and the small workshop became increasingly popular, even though it was not a classic confectionery. Everything was made in the Király Street kitchen, and she delivered them to various restaurants.

She was doing well, but as we have chronicled so many times in recent years, Covid came, businesses closed down, and she was suddenly out of a job. However, there was still a demand for quality desserts from customers—birthdays and quiet holidays were still happening, and although people gave up many luxury products, they could still afford a good cake. The web shop opened at lightning speed, with a range of cakes and mono-desserts available for pre-order, delivery, and personal collection. Even if in masks and from a distance, she was increasingly building up personal contacts with customers, which she found very rewarding.

With the relaxing of Covid rules and the return of larger events, she was approached by nationally renowned chef Jenő Rácz, founder of Rumour by Jenő Rácz, to design his wedding cake. The project went well, and along the way, they talked plenty about Zsófi’s desire for a larger space that could finally host guests and adequately represent the brand. A deli used to operate on the ground floor of Jenő’s restaurant, but as it had closed, they were looking for a new function for the space—so he offered her the opportunity to open the shop there.

Photo: Bálint Jaksa

Things started to move ahead rapidly, and in the summer of this year, during Rumour’s summer break, in no more than three weeks, everything had to be put in place. Architect Gáspár Bonta, the founder of the Gasparbonta & Partners, who together with his partner, Anita Csatlós, also designed the interior of the space above, came to the rescue. He dreamt up a vibrant, feminine, harmonious interior where colors (such as soft pink and gold) and floral elements, coupled with a touch of neon, make passersby and those visiting the restaurant stop and look. Because in fact, the boutique is the anteroom to Rumour, where guests pass through every afternoon. Fittingly, the shop is like a giant jewelry box: the most prominent feature are the walls covered in paper flowers designed by master florist Attila Németh, and of course the counter with Zsófi’s tastable treasures.

The selection includes past favorites designed over the years just as well as brand-new desserts. The names denote the signature flavors. A playful example is the Myrtle Pepper-Banana-Valrhona Kidavoa, which is essentially an artistic reinterpretation of banana bread: chocolate cream, and myrtle pepper and honey flavored banana cream resting on a dark chocolate butter sponge cake, with Valrhona’s special banana chocolate. The Pistachio-Blackcurrant is a long-standing favorite, with layers of slightly salty pistachio, white chocolate mousse, blackcurrant, and lyophilized raspberries on an almond sponge cake, with a velvety chocolate drizzle, and pistachio ganache on the outside. With a hint at Hungarian flavors, the Poppy Seed-Plum-Balsamic Vinegar is also served as a seasonal trio: in this one, Zsófi placed confit balsamic plum foam, and white chocolate-poppy seed mousse on top of a pastry made with poppy seed oil, decorated with a dash of real flowers. Of course, there is a range of other flavors as well, such as blond chocolate, pumpkin, or coffee. It’s so nice to get lost in the shop window and imagine what the inside might be hiding, and even better to then use our fork to find out.

Trying the cakes, you can taste that everything is made with the best ingredients, French high-fat cream, oil seeds, and premium quality chocolate. But perhaps even more impressive is the richness of detail in the way Zsófi (and her assistant, pastry chef Krisztina Lengvári) bring them to life with artisan work. You can feel the attention and precision because even though the result is fragile, it is worth the effort. If at first, they don’t get it right, they try again. Zsófi is also not afraid to turn to others for advice, such as chef Árpád Szűcs, with whom she has a great work relationship. Although the boutique has only been open for a short time, there are already plenty of plans—apart from continuing to supply partners such as the Rókusfalvy Inn in Etyek, Európa Bisztró, and Balance Bisztró&Delicates, they are also planning to forge closer links with Rumour.

Soon, cocktails composed for and paired with the desserts will arrive on the upstairs menu, but she also plans to strengthen the plated dessert line, potentially including hot dishes. Until then, she lets her desires and inspirations take her, and if she’s in the mood for pie, golden dumplings, or strudel, she’ll make it happen, all while avoiding the clichés with a sprinkle of remarkably elegant twists.

Mon Petit Dessert Boutique | Web | Facebook | Instagram

Photos: Dániel Szalay

MON PETIT DESSERT BOUTIQUE - interior design / 2022
interior design / 2022

more to read
Vibrant and energetic: the colors of the year in 2023

Vibrant and energetic: the colors of the year in 2023

This year, Pantone’s color of the year for 2022, Very Peri, has been a real triumph—what shades will flood us next year? Every year there is great anticipation before the announcement of next year’s colors. Even if they are not set in stone, they are definitely good
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao turns 25

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao turns 25

October is a month of celebration in Bilbao: it has been 25 years since the opening of the Guggenheim Museum, one of the most unique buildings in the world, which has also started an important trend in the museum world. Frank Gehry is one of the most influential architects of
Live consciously, plan creatively!

Live consciously, plan creatively!

Fill the Westend logo with creative content to promote sustainability! Do you ever think about what you take off the store shelves, what you actually need, and what to do with the things that you don’t need any more but are still usable? How can you save resources? What